The Snowdon Mountain Railway is banked up with snow above big cliffs. Photo: John S Turner CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is banked up with snow above big cliffs. Photo: John S Turner CC-BY-SA-2.0

Walkers on Wales’s highest mountain have been warned against following railway tracks when leaving the summit.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team said the rails on Snowdon take people very close to steep crags and snow and ice make it a perilous route while winter still grips the mountain top.

The team was called today to help a woman stuck on snow and ice above the steep cliffs of Clogwyn Coch where there have been deaths in the past.

The warning came as rescuers anticipate an increase in visitor numbers to the 1,085m (3,560ft) mountain as Easter approaches.

The team’s chairman Rob Johnson said: “At this time of year it can feel beautifully warm in the spring sunshine in the valley but the mountains can still be very wintry up high.

“The snow that is on the paths is extremely icy and slippery and this often leads to callouts over the Easter period for the mountain rescue team.

“We are especially keen to highlight the issue of people descending via the railway on Snowdon as this is a known accident blackspot and the team were called to a female in distress in this location this afternoon.

“It is tempting to follow the railway down from the summit rather than the Llanberis Path as it is an easy navigation feature. Unfortunately it takes people very close to the 1,000ft cliffs of Clogwyn Coch and at the moment is banked up with steep and very icy snow.

“This spot has claimed the lives of several walkers in the past. If you follow any of the paths down the mountain, rather than the railway, you will avoid this particular blackspot.”

He urged walkers to check the weather forecast before heading out and to take the necessary equipment to enjoy the conditions.

Mr Johnson added: “If you want to go above the snowline please bring axes and crampons and remember it always feels easier to head up than it does to turn around and come back down. If in doubt turn round early.”

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